For most of the time I’ve played World of Warships, the Minekaze was the most OP ship in the game. With a detection range of six kilometers and a torpedo range of 10 kilometers, it could launch devastating attacks against unwary opponents who literally never saw it coming. If a Minekaze back then could get within 10 kilometers of the enemy rear area undetected, it could wreck ships with impunity before they even got enough steam to get underway. I know. This happened to me in my New York class battleship one game. I was on the map North, and was steaming to join the other battleships who were all heading for A. I was most near D, and we all know how long a trek that is. I was steaming along the line just south of the two most northern islands when all my torpedo Klaxons went off at once. It was all over except the cursing at that point. Even as I sat there brooding, no one ever picked up that Minekaze on visual.
Well, I am here to report that problem has been corrected. The torpedo range on the Minekaze is now only seven kilometers. That still gives the captain a kilometer in which to maneuver, but it is not nearly so easy as it was before to remain undetected. Scout planes and non-carrier fighters have between a 3.5 kilometer and seven kilometer orbit from their mother ship. The Minekaze’s aerial detection range, if not in smoke, is 3.1 kilometers. A battleship’s spotter plane will see you long before you can close to torpedo range unless you time your approach appropriately. With a cruiser’s fighter, you still have 0.4 kilometers to play with even if it is between you and the cruiser… but yeah, like that’s going to work in a fluid and ever-moving battle. Then there are the carrier’s planes if you’re in a match with carriers. Are you starting to see a pattern to my complaint?
To me, the most dangerous thing to the destroyer is a the airplane. It’s not that they will sink the destroyer, though sometimes the get lucky. But when there are enemy planes all over the map, it really, really cuts down on the Minekaze’s ability to slip in undetected and launch torpedoes. And that really is the only weapon of note on the Minekaze class destroyer. The guns turn so slowly you take your life into your own hands if you try to use them. They add two kilometers to your detectability range and you can’t maneuver and keep them on target at the same time. And even if you get them in target, their damage potential is pathetic. I almost never use them.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not really complaining. I think the changes to the Minekaze class destroyer are spot on. It is now a challenge to get within torpedo range undetected though it is not impossible, and that makes for more fun! I would much rather play a challenging game than one that is a gimme. That makes moments like this one all the more rewarding.
But this came at a cost. As I said in my Isokaze post last week, destroyer games seem to be an all or nothing sort of experience. That remains true with the Minekaze as well. In this match I was spotted making my run on this carrier and ever ship within range, which was most of the enemy fleet, opened up on me. Though I got the carrier, I was quickly dispatched myself. Some matches you get the carrier, and in others the carrier gets you – or the cruiser accompanying it, which is more likely.
That said, timid play also nets you nothing. I’ve survived half the battles I’ve fought in the Minekaze, but I did better in the Isokaze in every measurable way. I don’t know if that’s my doing or the more experienced opponents I tend to get paired with in a tier V ship. I see a lot more Cleveland class cruisers in the Minekaze than the Isokaze for example, and people like to play those long after they’ve graduated to higher tier ships. They keep them as Free XP generators. I imaging me worse track record is probably a little of both. And I’d be lying if I said my game play was top form over the past week. The excuse is I got sick and then got bad news. I know better than to play when I’m down either physically or mentally. But in the hopes for a quick pickup, I play. Then I lose and it has the opposite effect. But hey, you all don’t want to read about this stuff.
So where am I at in the Minekaze? I am still learning. I’ve 40 games in a destroyer under my belt, and I am still learning what does and does not work on each map. I am also still learning that ranging thing. Higher tier ships move faster than lower tier ships. In the Isokaze I learned when to fire torpedoes from beyond maximum range so the ships would sail into them before they ran out of kerosene. With faster ships, that’s actually harder to do. I thought it would be easier, but there is a faster reaction time in higher tier ships that makes a difference. So, who has some pointers for me? Let me know what you’ve found does and does not work with the Minekaze class destroyer in the comments. And until we meet in battle, may you have calm seas.